Support our troops

All those yellow ribbons and sentimental statements about how we love our soldiers count for nothing in the cold world of reality in the Age of Bush.

Hundreds of Army Reserve and National Guard troops returning home after being wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan have gone months without pay or medical benefits they were entitled to receive, military officials and government auditors said Thursday.

“This is the equivalent of financial and medical ‘friendly fire,’ ” Rep. Thomas M. Davis (R-Va.), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee (news – web sites), told military officials at a hearing.

The disclosures represent the latest in a list of problems confronting many returning war veterans, including shortages of physicians, a lack of mental healthcare and spotty medical treatment.

And it gets much, much more depressing.

“A lot of the guys can’t deal with the bureaucratic problems,” said Sgt. 1st Class John Allen of Blairstown, N.J., wearing an eye patch and leaning on a cane as he testified at the congressional hearing. “They give up somewhere in the process and just go home.”

Several wounded troops testified before the House panel Thursday. A Special Forces soldier who lost a leg to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan said he did not receive $5,000 in paychecks. Another veteran with knee and back injuries said he was forced to move in with his in-laws after missing paychecks totaling $3,886.

Allen, a 14-year Army veteran who serves with the National Guard’s 20th Special Forces Group, has a brain injury and other injuries to his legs, back, neck and eyes resulting from a helicopter accident and a grenade blast.

But Allen said it wasn’t until he returned home for extended treatment that his “real troubles began.”

He had to reapply for coverage every 90 days and was at times denied pay, medical coverage and access to his military base.

And the other side wonders why we complain when they throw a one-night party for $40 million. Let “our boys” eat cake.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 6 Comments

We already knew that people don’t call the Bush administration on anything they do….

I mean, where’s the outrage on John Negroponte heading intelligence? I haven’t seen but a couple blogs talking about it. Here’s a interesting post:

http://bloogeyman.blogspot.com/2005/02/everything-is-ponteing-to-trouble.html

Tells you what rreally is going on

February 18, 2005 @ 10:24 am | Comment

I think the US media is scared of criticising Bush and other Republicans now, especially after the Dan Rather incident. I noticed Tim Russert, Brian Williams and even Tom Brokaw on MSNBC were all cheering for Bush after the presidential debates.
Peter Jenning will talk about something provocative tonight also.

February 18, 2005 @ 10:53 am | Comment

The right has been so effective, so ingenious in its “liberal media” message that our reporters feel they need to bend over backwards to show they are not anti-Republican — so they always handle the Republicans with kid gloves, while raking Kerry and Clinton and Boxer over the hot coals.

February 18, 2005 @ 10:55 am | Comment

The national US media is predominantly controlled by large corperations who have share holders to keep happy and who want to keep advertising revenues rolling in.

They are watching their profit lines as well as their backs.

What America needs is an independant national broadcaster that is not tied down to advertising revune, is not politically controlled and will get its oaycheck even if it takes the unpopular side of a story.

Unfortunately, I can’t see this happening, and the ‘liberal media’ isn’t doing itself any favors by fragmenting its support by backing disparate, and sometimes overly flambiont, casues like radical environmentalism, gay marriages, and anti war protests, many of wich are alianating them from ‘traditional voters’ who want a single crass roots approachs, and making them easy targets for the Republican’s ire.

Many people said that Kerry’s association with ‘hyper liberals’ in Hollywood hurt his campaign in the very same way.

February 18, 2005 @ 6:37 pm | Comment

War is cruel and merciless. Those who encouraged and orchestrated it are the world’s worst war criminals. Thats why Bush was so fearful of the International Criminal Court.

As Herbert Hoover says it all, “Older men declare war, but it is youth that must fight and die.”

My deepest sympathies to the parents of US soldiers who have sacrificed their precious lives in the line of duty. And bitter condemn of their political leaders who brought this misfortune on the US and the Iraqi people.

February 20, 2005 @ 9:00 am | Comment

sp, I remember this beautiful folk song by Suzanne Vega, not totally relevant to the current situation but you are right on that quote.

‘”the Queen & The Soldier”

The soldier came knocking upon the queen’s door
He said, “I am not fighting for you any more”
The queen knew she’d seen his face someplace before
And slowly she let him inside.

He said, “I’ve watched your palace up here on the hill
And I’ve wondered who’s the woman for whom we all kill
But I am leaving tomorrow and you can do what you will
Only first I am asking you why.”

Down in the long narrow hall he was led
Into her rooms with her tapestries red
And she never once took the crown from her head
She asked him there to sit down.

He said, “I see you now, and you are so very young
But I’ve seen more battles lost than I have battles won
And I’ve got this intuition, says it’s all for your fun
And now will you tell me why?”

The young queen, she fixed him with an arrogant eye
She said, “You won’t understand, and you may as well not try”
But her face was a child’s, and he thought she would cry
But she closed herself up like a fan.

And she said, “I’ve swallowed a secret burning thread
It cuts me inside, and often I’ve bled”
He laid his hand then on top of her head
And he bowed her down to the ground.

“Tell me how hungry are you? How weak you must feel
As you are living here alone, and you are never revealed
But I won’t march again on your battlefield”
And he took her to the window to see.

And the sun, it was gold, though the sky, it was gray
And she wanted more than she ever could say
But she knew how it frightened her, and she turned away
And would not look at his face again.

And he said, “I want to live as an honest man
To get all I deserve and to give all I can
And to love a young woman who I don’t understand
Your highness, your ways are very strange.”

But the crown, it had fallen, and she thought she would break
And she stood there, ashamed of the way her heart ached
She took him to the doorstep and she asked him to wait
She would only be a moment inside.

Out in the distance her order was heard
And the soldier was killed, still waiting for her word
And while the queen went on strangeling in the solitude she preferred
The battle continued on’

February 20, 2005 @ 2:34 pm | Comment

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